Juniors shut out of New Hall, Ivory Tower

Campus housing officials are unsure how many upperclassmen did not receive a room assignment Sunday. Housing selection for rising seniors and juniors began at 8:15 a.m. Sunday and ended at 10 p.m.

The most popular option for upperclassmen was single-occupancy rooms, which ran out earliest. The next most popular options were rooms in 1957 E St. Ivory Tower and The Aston closed at the same time and New Hall was the next most demanded residence hall. All these residence halls were filled by 2:30 p.m., an hour and 15 minutes before rising juniors began selecting rooms.

Only rooms in City Hall, Strong Hall and the Mount Vernon Campus were available to rising juniors at their appointed times.

Rising juniors and seniors are not guaranteed housing on campus, but Director of University Campus Housing Seth Weinshel said he anticipates that all students who want to live in a residence hall next year will be able to. Upperclassmen selected housing at times throughout the day based on randomly assigned lottery numbers.

“Anybody who wants housing, we plan on being able to accommodate them,” Weinshel said. “We will continue to work with students until we accommodate everyone.”

Weinshel said rising juniors and rising seniors were essentially given the same options because many rising juniors choose to live with rising seniors.

“For rising juniors, the options were about the same in the sense that they were able to be pulled in by rising seniors,” Weinshel said.

He added that the seven Community Living and Learning Center staff members working on Sunday received as many as 700 phone calls from students with questions and concerns about housing selection.

Rising juniors and seniors who did not register for housing Sunday can be placed on a non-guaranteed housing waitlist at Fulbright Hall starting Monday at noon. Weinshel said he cannot determine how long the wait list will be because he is unsure how many students will opt to live off-campus or will live with rising sophomores. Rising sophomores select housing Feb. 28, March 2 and March 3. He said he expects to know how many students are on the wait list by the end of the week.

Some students, however, have their pick of virtually any room on campus. The Residence Hall Association raised more than $25,000 for need-based housing scholarships Friday night when it auctioned off the top five housing picks.

This year’s 40th annual auction, Martha’s Marathon, raised about $10,000 more than last year. Sophomore Sam Azad made the highest bid of the night, paying $7,400 for the No. 2 pick.

The other top bids of the evening included $4,900 for No. 5, $5,600 for No. 4 and $5,900 for No. 3.

While lottery numbers two through five were auctioned off to the highest bidder, students entered a raffle for the No. 1 pick. The student-run Residence Hall Association sold 1,500 raffle tickets for $1 each. Freshman Austin Hoffman’s ticket was the lucky draw of the night. Hoffman said he is “extremely relieved” and will choose to live in Ivory Tower.

Freshman Oliver Blodgett said she and her roommates convinced their parents to allow them to participate in the auction by telling them the proceeds would fund scholarships. Blodgett bid $5,600 for the No. 4 bid.

“That was the only way to justify this event to our parents,” Blodgett said. “We convinced them that they could get a tax break, we’d get housing, and someone else would benefit through scholarships. It’s a win-win situation.”

Spectators munched on candy at the chocolate factory-themed event while students bid on a variety of other items, such as DVD sets and dinners with senators.

Two freshmen won the No. 6 and No.7 housing picks at a raffle at the women’s basketball game last Thursday.

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